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September 30, 1939


JAMA. 1939;113(14):1319-1321. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.72800390001012

A condition characterized by sudden onset, prostration, fever, jaundice, muscular pains, hemorrhagic tendencies and renal involvement was first described by Weil1 in 1886. In 1914 Inada was able to transmit this disease to guinea pigs by inoculating them with blood taken from patients suffering from this disease. The following year he2 discovered that a spirochete was the etiologic agent. Noguchi3 found that this organism differed from other spirochetes in that it did not have a terminal filament and that it was resistant to 10 per cent saponin and termed it Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae.

Since 1922 about twenty-two cases of this disease have been reported in this country. We believe that our case is the first to be reported from New Jersey. Many authorities believe that this apparent rarity of the disease in the United States is due to failure to diagnose it rather than to scarcity of the